Spain Ends Italy’s Unbeaten Run, Reach Nations League final


Sapin’s teammates celebrate after wining at the end of the UEFA Nations League semifinal football match between Italy and Spain at the San Siro (Giuseppe-Meazza) stadium in Milan, on October 6, 2021. Marco BERTORELLO / POOL / AFP

 

Spain brought Italy’s record 37-match unbeaten run to an end on Wednesday with a 2-1 win to reach the Nations League final.

Ferran Torres’ first-half brace won the Final Four clash for Spain at the San Siro, where Luis Enrique’s side will face either France or Belgium in Sunday’s final.

Lorenzo Pellegrini pulled a goal back with seven minutes left but the European champions failed to complete what would have been a memorable comeback.

Italy, who beat Spain in the Euro 2020 semi-finals, had to play over half the match with 10 men after Leonardo Bonucci was sent off in the 42nd minute for elbowing Sergio Busquets in the face during an aerial challenge.


Italy’s teammate react at the end of the UEFA Nations League semifinal football match between Italy and Spain at the San Siro (Giuseppe-Meazza) stadium in Milan, on October 6, 2021.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

The match was played in a strange atmosphere as AC Milan fans in the stadium harangued Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma throughout his return to the San Siro following his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Donnarumma, who is considered one of the world’s best goalkeepers and won the Player of the Tournament award at the Euro, left Milan as a free agent in the summer and his departure left a bad taste in the mouth of supporters who loudly booed and whistled his every touch of the ball.

World champions France take on Belgium at Juventus’ Allianz Stadium in Turin on Thursday night.

AFP

Billie Eilish Wins Grammys’ Record Of The Year

 

Billie Eilish on Sunday snagged the Grammy for Record of the Year for the second straight time, a major feat for the 19-year-old who swept all four top categories at last year’s ceremony.

This time, the edgy pop sensation bested a crowded field including the night’s big stars Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce, along with Dua Lipa, Post Malone, and Doja Cat, to win the prize honoring the year’s best overall song for her hit “Everything I Wanted.”

In 2020, the teenage phenom cemented her place as an establishment leader, posting a banner Grammy night by sweeping prizes for Album, Record, and Song of the Year, plus Best New Artist — the first woman and youngest artist to do so.

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“Everything I Wanted” is a gauzy ode to the struggles of stardom that touches on the teenage angst over feelings of inadequacy, imposter syndrome, and concerns about fitting in.

Last year, she won Record of the Year honors for her hit “Bad Guy” off her debut “when we all fall asleep, where do we go?”, which won for Album of the Year.

Before her album’s release in March 2019, Eilish had already won a fervent online following for her bold, often haunting pop sound featuring heavy bass and tinges of trap and electronic dance music.

She is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world, and though the pandemic forced her to cancel her global tour, she still posted a strong year that included penning the theme ballad for the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die” — which also scored a Grammy on Sunday.

AFP

Oduduru Breaks Obikwelu’s National 200m Record, Runs Sub-10 In 100m

Divine Oduduru

 

Divine Oduduru has broken Francis Obekwelu’s 200 meters national record and also became the first Nigerian to run a sub-10 in the 100 meters since Olusoji Fasuba almost 13 years ago.

Oduduru shattered his personal best by over a tenth of a second with a time of 9.94 seconds at the Michael Johnson Invitational in Waco, Texas.

Exactly 55 minutes later, he graced the track again in the 200 metres and ran a blistering personal best of 19.76 seconds, breaking Obikwelu’s 19.84 seconds mark which was set in Seville in 1999.

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His time is also the second-fastest time ever run by a collegiate athlete.

The Texas tech student-athlete is the 9th Nigerian to run sub-10 in the 100 metres, and the second to go sub-20 in the 200 meters.

Just 122 sprinters in history have broken the 10-second barrier in the 100m, and only 72 sprinters have gone sub-20 in the 200m

Both times are world-leaders this season.

Djokovic cruises into Shanghai final with Berdych defeat

Novak Djokovic got into the Shanghai final gallantly and can now boast of an ATP Tour-leading 69-11 match record for the season as he secured a break in just the second game of the match to take control of the opening set, before taking it for the loss of just three games.

Berdych was always behind in the match, and he was unable to match the world number two in the second set as Djokovic closed it out efficiently to improve his head-to-head record over the Czech to 10-1 while securing his place in the final.

Djokovic will next take on the winner of two-time defending champion Andy Murray’s semi-final clash with world number one Roger Federer in the Shanghai showpiece.